Midlife Weight Gain

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Americans tend to gain a pound of two each year between early adulthood and middle age. That gradual weight gain may not seem to be a cause for concern, but Harvard scientists warn that the extra pounds add up and significantly increase the risk for chronic health issues and early death. The researchers analyzed the health records of about 118,000 people. Women gained an average of 22 pounds between the ages of 18 and 55, while men packed an average of 19 pounds. The study found that a gain of five pounds was the threshold for health problems. For every 11 pounds a person gained, the risk for type 2 diabetes rose by 30 percent, for high blood pressure by 14 percent, and for cancer by 6 percent. Study author Frank Hu tells MedicalDaily.com that “even a modest around of weight gain may have important health consequences.”

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